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Could future medications target the ageing process?

6 March 2020

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee continues its inquiry into Ageing: Science, Technology and Healthy Living, by examining the research landscape for treatments for illness in old age, including to target the underlying processes of ageing.

Purpose of sessions

The Committee has previously heard about the challenges of treating ill health in old age, particularly the issue of polypharmacy whereby drugs for different illnesses interact and cause harm. The Committee will consider the development of new medications, including drugs that would target the fundamental biological processes of ageing in order to address multiple illnesses with reduced polypharmacy.

Witnesses

Tuesday 10th March in Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster

At 10.20am

  • Professor Fiona Watt, Executive Chair, Medical Research Council
  • Dr Alison Cave, Challenge Director for the Data to Early Diagnosis and Precision Medicine Challenge, UKRI
  • Tamsin Berry, Director, Office for Life Sciences
  • Dr Louise Wood CBE, Director of Science, Research and Evidence, Department of Health and Social Care; and Co-lead of NIHR

At around 11.25am

  • Dr Fiona Marshall, Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences; and VP Head of Neuroscience and Head of UK Discovery Research, MSD
  • Jim Mellon, Co-Founder and Chairman, Juvenescence
  • Dr Sheuli Porkess, Executive Director, Research, Medical and Innovation, Association of British Pharmaceuticals Industry (ABPI)
  • Dr Lauren Walker, Chair of StR Committee, British Pharmacological Society; and Academic Clinical Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Liverpool

Possible questions

  • To what extent is biomedical research into ageing supported in the UK, to develop new treatments including for targeting the fundamental processes of ageing?
  • Is the UK well-positioned to be a world leader in the field of pharmaceuticals targeting the ageing process?
  • Can (new or repurposed) drugs targeting the ageing process be ready for widespread use in time to contribute to the Government's target of five more years of healthy living by 2035?
  • Could biomedical research and new treatments exacerbate health inequalities?

Further information

Image: PA